Radio Frequency Systems (RFS) today announced it has successfully delivered the first in-building coaxial cable to pass the stringent UL 2196 certification test without use of a metal conduit or extensive wrapping.
RFS’ DragonSkin cable enables cellular and public safety radio communications to and from people on all floors of a burning building, a critically important capability during fires in high-rise buildings where many people may be located above the fire.
The UL certification test subjects the cable to the high heat and water conditions that occur during severe fires in buildings, verifying the cable continues to operate despite the extreme stresses applied to it. To receive UL 2196 certification, an in-building coaxial cable must survive even when it is exposed to temperatures up to 1000 °C (1832 °F) for two hours then suddenly cooled down with water from a fire hose. RFS cables with this certification are proven to be fireproof and are key to ensuring emergency responders and building occupants can continue to communicate during fires in buildings. In-building cables with UL 2196 certification are required in a number of jurisdictions in the United States.
All previous fire-protected in-building cables were either shielded in metal conduit or extensively wrapped in fire-resistant materials. These additional protection measures increase cable size, weight, and cost. They also reduce the cable’s bending radius, making installation more difficult, time-consuming, and expensive — especially in cases where existing buildings are being retrofitted to meet the UL 2196 standard.
In contrast, DragonSkin is only half an inch in diameter, does not require conduit, does not include extensive wrapping, and maintains its full bending radius. As a result, it dramatically simplifies, accelerates, and reduces the cost of installing fireproof communications cables compared to existing options. The half-inch cable size also means that standard RFS connectors can be used. The cable’s red color immediately identifies it to anyone working on building wiring as a mission-critical communications cable.
“We are extremely proud to share the news that our innovative heat- and waterproof DragonSkin cable has passed the incredibly challenging UL 2196 certification test,” says Tom Kuklo, Global Product Manager for In-Building Solutions at RFS. “We listened carefully to what the industry needed to maintain communications in burning buildings and we didn’t stop our development efforts until we successfully met the challenge. This cable reflects our deep commitment to pushing the boundaries of innovation and ensuring people have reliable access to communications when they need it most.”
DragonSkin is the ideal solution to strengthen in-building communications today and into the future. The fireproof cable complements RFS’s industry-leading line of indoor, plenum-rated ICA cables. RFS’ indoor cables are recognized around the world for their ability to meet key fire safety standards, including CMP, CATVP, CPR and Canadian CSA C.22.2/FT6 standards.